Biting the Moon
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A teenage girl wakes up alone in a bed and breakfast in Santa Fe with no memory of who she is or how she got there. The innkeeper explains that the man who brought her there said he was her father. But the one thing she knows for sure is that he is not--and that she must flee before he returns. Taking his jacket, money, and gun, she hikes into the surrounding mountains; in an unlikely scenario that only a writer as talented as Grimes can make plausible, she survives the harsh winter and even flourishes, seeking solace in the company of coyotes she frees from their illegal traps. When she reemerges from the wilderness a few months later, seeking to unravel the mystery of who she is, she walks into the life of 14-year-old Mary Dark Hope, a lonely orphan who becomes her ally and companion. Together they track the stranger who abducted her, who holds the key to the secret of her identity--the man she knows only as "Daddy."
The thrilling odyssey that takes the two girls into the murky world of illegal dogfights, hunting, and wild-animal profiteers culminates in a dramatic confrontation, but it is the brilliantly realized characters rather than the plot that capture the reader's imagination and keep the pages turning. Another tour de force for Grimes, and a cause for celebration for her many fans. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Engaging adolescent Mary Dark Hope, who appeared in Rainbow's End, returns in this uneven thriller/animal-rights polemic. After Mary befriends Andi, a teenage amnesiac who releases trapped animals in New Mexico's Sandia Mountains, the two girls head after a mysterious man who Andi thinks may have kidnapped her and knows her identity. Conveniently, the orphaned Mary has a bank account, a car, her dead sister's driver's license and gullible caregivers. The girls easily encounter garrulous informants along the way, finding a friend and protector in Reuel, a salt-of-the-earth dropout who knows everyone in Salmon, Idaho, where they've tracked their quarry. Once Andi identifies Harry Wine, a river expedition outfitter, as her abductor, the book shifts into a series of predictable episodes that show unthinking people gruesomely mistreating animals and that reveal the arrogant Wine's vile nature. Mary and Andi rescue an abused dog, go white-water rafting, spy on a "canned hunt" for endangered animals. In a violent scene near the book's end, Andi confronts Wine, then disappears. Although Grimes writes movingly of the plight of maltreated animals and gracefully evokes the beauty of the American West, many scenes are too long and aimless. Most of the characters are stereotypes, their individual motivations hard to discern. Andi's disappearance is especially puzzlingAlike the Lone Ranger, she stirs up the populace and vanishes, leaving the cleanup to others. This is not a Richard Jury book, and fans will miss him. Rights, Peter Lampack Agency.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Joanna Campbell, Author and creator of the Thoroughbred Series, and author of the first 14 books.
Also, although I am sympathetic to animal rights issues, this book covered too many-trapping, coyote population control, dogfights, crooked vets, and canned hunts. It would have been better to focus one or two issues, because in the end, the overwhelming amount of controversial topics detracted from all of them.
I didn't expect to see Richard Jury in this novel, so I wasn't disappointed in that respect. But I did feel this novel was rushed and not as finely crafted as some of her others.
Andi vanishes into the mountainous wilderness where she begins to protect the animals from hunters. When Andi meets another adolescent Mary Dark Hope, they form a bond. Mary agrees to help Andi and they soon begin their trek seeking the identity of "Daddy" as a start.
Readers need to know that though Mary Dark Hope originally appeared in a Richard Jury novel, BITING THE MOON is not a Jury tale (this reviewer kept waiting for his appearance). The story line is a bit disjointed because too much of the novel is spent on the subplots. This especially is true as Martha Grimes makes compassionate, graphic pleas for animal rights, but ultimately these passages ramble away from the mystery. Mary remains a warm, enigmatic character, whom readers will embrace. The audience will feel much empathy for Andi too, but Ms. Grimes dissipates that for no apparent reason. Though the novel has well-written sections, fans will be better off obtaining a Jury tale to see the author at her awesome best.
Most recent customer reviews
I listened to the audio version of this book, which may have helped some; it was engaging enough, in spite of the frequent sordid plot twists around every corner - the canned hunt... Read morePublished on July 31 2003 by tauntonlake
two teenage girls take on amnesia, sexual perversion, dog fighting, white water rafting and canned hunts coming out on top every time in a story that defines the unbelievable; and... Read morePublished on March 22 2003 by MacGeezer
This is the first (and last) Martha Grimes book I've picked up. It is perfectly dreadful. I couldn't finish it. Thank goodness I had borrowed it from the library. Read morePublished on May 11 2001 by A reader
I wish I had read the reviews of this book before I bought it. It is a very dark and disturbing story full of twisted characters and plot line. Read morePublished on March 21 2001
I wish I'd read all these reviews before I spent $12 on this novel--silly me, I actually believed the glowing reviews on the cover from the New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times and... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2001 by KJsJoys
If I could have, I would have rated this book negative five stars. Martha Grimes and her editor should hang their heads in shame. This book was obviously not researched at all. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2001
First, I loved the book because of it's many topics on animal cruelty. This book is clearly written freestyle-sentences lack structure, has a few typos, and a few loose ends. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2000
THERE WERE ABOUT TEN DIFFERENT PLOTS GOING ON, WITH NO RESOLUTION TO ANY OF THEM. CHARACTERS ARE FLAT. WHO CARED WHAT HAPPENED TO ANY OF THEM? Read morePublished on July 29 2000
If you love Martha Grimes, don't read this book. The subject matter (cruelty to animals and people)is certainly worthy of being written about even though I wish this book had... Read morePublished on May 28 2000 by Diane Neal